Washington, D.C. —
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday that repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has had no impact on morale, readiness or unit cohesion, Reuters reported.
The military ended the policy which for 18 years banned gay and bisexual troops from serving openly last September.
President Barack Obama championed scrapping the policy and has touted the accomplishment since.
Supporters of keeping ban warned that repealing it in wartime threatened to hurt cohesion of troops or undermine morale.
"It's not impacting morale. It's not impacting on unit cohesion. It is not impacting on readiness," Panetta said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, referring to the findings of an internal report he received on Wednesday.
Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, added: "I have not found any negative effects on good order or discipline."
Dempsey and Panetta credited the military's gradual implementation and troop training on repeal for the lack of negative fallout.
"What were we afraid of is we didn't know," Dempsey told Congress. "And I think that the way we were given a year to make this assessment to educate ourselves to collaborate, to build the sense of trust … I think it worked out well."
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